How Has Trucking Grown Since the 90’s?
Over the years, HDT has had many changes. In this series, we look back at some of the company’s most popular products. In 1998, the U.S. introduced the Argosy, which was the last cab-forward that was built for Class 8 trucks. Another popular type of truck to recognize is the lowboy trailer.
A lowboy trailer is a semi-trailer that has a drop deck. It’s commonly referred to as a double drop or a low loader.
This type of truck has two drops in its deck, one of which is right behind the wheels and the other one is situated before the wheels. This makes the trailer incredibly low to the ground.
As explained by the experts at Hale Trailer, “The main deck of a lowboy is extremely low to the ground, making it ideal for transporting tall and wide items like heavy machinery and vehicles.”
This type of truck can be used to transport oversized equipment or freight that’s over 8 feet tall. Usually, this type of truck is only used for moving heavy equipment. Because of its popularity, many people are looking for lowboy trailers for sale.
The 1990s: Increase in Safety Regulations
The regulations surrounding the trucking industry continued to evolve. In 1994, the Federal Motor Transport Administration (FMCSA) abolished the Interstate Commerce Commission. The remaining regulations were then transferred to the Surface Transportation Board. Many of the new rules were focused on safety and protecting the environment.
Despite the new EPA regulations, engine manufacturers were still able to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. One of the key factors that helped the industry was electronic controls.
In 1992, a new law requiring all truck drivers over the age of 26 to have a commercial driver’s license went into effect. Unfortunately, a shortage of testing facilities affected the number of people who were able to pass the test.
In 1998, all-new air-cooled trailers and trucks were required to feature antilock brakes. However, this technology had been a long time coming due to the “121” incident. According to HDT, some issues remained regarding the power between the trailer and tractor.
Despite the various regulations that were implemented during that time, Congress decided not to address the safety concerns of the industry. In 1999, a law was passed that created a separate federal agency for the regulation of the truck industry.
During the 1990s, various technological advancements were introduced in the truck industry. One of these included electronic stability control.
The 2000s: Regulations and Emissions
In 2001, HDT launched a series called “Coping with Crisis,” which highlighted the various economic factors that affected the industry during that time. These included high fuel costs, a shortage of drivers and severe winter weather. According to the company, these factors made 2001 the most challenging year for fleet managers since the deregulation of the industry in 1980.
The formation of the FMCSA in January 2000 marked the beginning of a decade-long process that would lead to the implementation of the new safety regulations. In 2004, the hours-of-service rules for trucks were implemented. However, they were later overturned by the courts. This was the beginning of a long-running legal battle between the government and the industry.
Following the passage of the legislation requiring the Department of Transportation to look into requiring electronic logs onboard recorders, many fleets started using these devices. In 2009, HDT covered the issue with a story that claimed that electronic logs would soon be the end of the comic book.
In January 2000, the company covered a story about the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to classify diesel exhaust as a cancer threat. According to Glenn Keller, the head of the engine industry’s trade group, the agency was trying to impose a death sentence on the industry.
The 2010s: Alternative Fuels, CSA and Economic Recovery
The aughts continued to be the theme in the years that followed. High fuel prices and the sluggish recovery from the Great Recession continued to affect the industry. In 2010, many articles talked about increasing the miles per gallon and exploring other sustainable fuels.
Following the release of the EPA’s 2010 emissions regulations, which aimed to reduce the harmful effects of diesel exhaust, the government issued new standards for greenhouse gases. These new regulations were focused on the fuel economy of new vehicles.
The biggest change in the regulatory landscape was the implementation of the FMCSA’s CSA system, which was a centralized enforcement tool for the agency. It was able to improve the efficiency of the fleet by implementing various changes such as driver training and pre-trip inspections.
These changes have been significant in the industry. As it continues to change with the times, the HDT will be changing with it.
Read more: Top Technology for Truckers